Starting July 1, 2021, people 21 and older in Virginia will be allowed to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to four cannabis plants at home, but those hoping to go to a pharmacy to pick up something will have to wait until 2024. Virginia`s HB 2312 and SB 1406 (which are identical) will replace cannabis prohibition with a system of cannabis legalization, taxation and regulation for adults 21 years of age and older. The legislation also includes automatic sealing of minor cannabis-related offenses, introduces a social justice program to encourage participation in the legal cannabis industry for those most affected by the war on cannabis, and dedicates 30% of tax revenue to a cannabis equity reinvestment fund. HB 2312/SB 1406 passed the House of Representatives and Senate in the final vote on February 27. 2021. Governor Ralph Northam demanded changes from the legislature, which voted to approve it on April 7. Many, but not all, provisions of the law require a second legislative vote in 2022 or a “re-enactment”. The provisions legalizing the possession and cultivation of cannabis on July 1, 2021 do not require reconstitution, nor do the penalties for minors in possession of cannabis and the provisions allowing the start of regulatory work. The provisions initiating the regulatory process and legalizing the sale from January 1, 2024 also do not need to be re-enacted. Most of the new penalties — such as for importing cannabis into Virginia — require realignment, as do the regulatory details. For now, they have postponed decisions on what those rules might look like next year. Among the open questions is how licenses are distributed and to what extent local governments have a say in the location of pot businesses.

According to an August 2021 Virginia State Police report, 333,806 records were sealed for simple possession. More than 64,651 charges of distribution of offences were sealed and approximately 395,747 files of minor offences, invalid reports or non-mandatory reports were deleted in total. Last Thursday, we reported on the historic day Virginia legalized recreational marijuana use. While this affects the daily lives of many Virginians, there is also a new effort behind criminal justice reform. A majority of the Virginia legislature voted on April 7, 2021, to approve amendments to Senate Bill 1406 | House Bill 2312, which legalizes the personal use and possession of marijuana on July 1, 2021. The provisions of the Act allow people 21 and older to possess up to one ounce in public. Separate provisions of the Act governing the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis will not come into force until January 1, 2024. Throughout the legislative debate, lawmakers have been adamant that they don`t want to rush the legal market, setting a date for 2024 that they say will give them plenty of time to establish new rules and regulations. Share your email address to receive regular updates on the Virginia cannabis program as they become available, or send us a message at A new cannabis control authority would be created in July 2021 to regulate the adult cannabis market.

A five-member board of directors would issue by-laws; grant, suspend or revoke licences; and impose fines. In 2021, just one day after the Virginia legalization bill went into effect, the Youngkin campaign tweeted, “Glenn Youngkin will not seek to repeal [the law].” “Home growing” became legal on July 1, 2021. Adults 21 and older are now allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants per household (not per person) for their personal use. Plants can only be grown at your primary residence. Legal possession and adult cultivationEffective July 1, 2021: The 2021 Virginia General Assembly created the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (“CCA” or “Authority”), which recognizes it as the primary source of government expertise on cannabis, giving it broad powers to develop, issue, and enforce rules regarding cannabis in Virginia. The 2021 Act also empowered the CCA to initiate and legislate on various aspects of public safety and public health of cannabis. “It`s because some activists want to legalize marijuana,” said Del. Chris Head, R-Botetourt. “And they want it legalized now, the consequences are damned.” “Virginia legalized marijuana in retail through legislation through the budget, we`re just going to call it `hemp,`” Delegate Dawn Adams, who spoke out against colloquial language, told Virginia NORML.

“All tetrahydrocannabinols — not just delta-9-THC, but delta-8-THC and other synthetic compounds — will be legal in Virginia with Governor Youngkin`s pen as long as it`s called `hemp,`” added Dr. Adams, a nurse with significant expertise in cannabis medicine. With recreational marijuana use recently legalized, Virginia`s attorney general is looking for candidates interested in becoming the state`s first cannabis advocate. A majority of the Virginia legislature voted on April 7, 2021, to approve amendments to Senate Bill 1406 | House Bill 2312, which legalized personal marijuana cultivation on July 1, 2021. The legal provisions allow people aged 21 and over to grow up to four plants per household in their main residence. The law requires that no marijuana plant be visible from a public road without the use of aircraft, binoculars or other optical aids, and that precautions be taken to prevent unauthorized access by anyone under the age of 21. A legible label must be affixed to each plant containing the name, driver`s licence or identification number of the person and a statement that the marijuana plant is grown for personal use. This article was originally published on April 7, 2021 and updated on June 24, 2021. On July 1, 2021, “adult sharing of marijuana” or transferring an ounce or less of marijuana between individuals 21 years of age or older became legal without compensation. Like the rules for open containers, the provisions on self-cultivation also contain certain ambiguities. First, there is no legal way to buy seeds or cuttings, although they can be donated under the law.

Pedini said licensed medical producers in the state faced a similar dilemma when their operations began last year, but noted that licensed growers were still able to preserve plants. Regulators appear to have adopted a “don`t ask, don`t say” policy. Advertising the sale of drug paraphernalia is a Class I offence punishable by imprisonment for up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500. Transporting 5 pounds or more of marijuana into Virginia with intent to distribute it is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, a maximum penalty of 40 years and a fine of up to $1,000,000. A second or subsequent conviction for the same offence increases the mandatory minimum sentence to 10 years. It`s a development that even the most ambitious joint smokers could hardly have predicted in a state where, until last year, the penal code was overseen by a committee of law and order Republicans who had strongly opposed ending prohibition. But while criminal justice reform advocates and marijuana enthusiasts celebrate, the new law comes with some important caveats. Legal rollover? A Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill that would decriminalize marijuana use at the federal level, and he`s gaining support. “Virginians will have the opportunity to go to court to seal all other marijuana offenses and most marijuana crimes.

These criminal justice reforms will modernize the Commonwealth`s criminal records systems and remove barriers for Virginians seeking work, housing, and education,” reads the state`s cannabis website. A year after the first medical marijuana dispensaries opened in Virginia, the booming industry still suffers from growing pains that make it difficult for many patients to benefit from them. If a person is convicted of an offence that carries a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must impose a mandatory minimum sentence or a higher sentence. The judge does not have the power to sentence the accused to less than the mandatory minimum sentence. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state crimes is not eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life imprisonment” must serve a life sentence with no prospect of parole. On July 1, Virginia becomes the first Southern state to legalize marijuana. One of the agency`s primary responsibilities is to educate Virginians on a variety of cannabis-related topics.